Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, fracing, hydrofracking, fraccing, frac'ing, and hydrofracturing, is a well stimulation technique involving the fracturing of bedrock formations by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of "fracking fluid" (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore. Jun 21, · Fracking is a slang term for hydraulic fracturing, which is the process of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting specialized fluid .
Jump to navigation. During this time, a fracking boom has helped the United States become the global leader in natural gas and crude oil production. Large quantities of water, chemicals, and sand are blasted into these formations at pressures high enough to crack the rock, allowing the once-trapped gas and oil to flow to the surface.
One was the use of a certain type of fracturing fluid: slickwater, a mix of water, sand, and chemicals to make the fluid less viscous. The other innovation was the pairing of fracking with horizontal drillinga technique that increases the productive potential of each well because it can reach more of the rock formation that contains the oil and gas. These advances, combined with off influx of investment amid high si fossil fuel prices, sent fracking into overdrive.
Indeed, of the approximately one million U. The process begins with the drilling what county is phoenix az a long vertical or angled well that can extend a mile or more into the earth.
As the well nears the rock formation where the natural gas or oil lies, drilling then gradually turns horizontal and extends as far as thousands of feet. Steel pipes tge casings are inserted into the well, and the space between the rock and the casing is fully or partially filled with cement. Small holes are made in the casing with a perforating gun, or the well is constructed with pre-perforated pipe.
Fracking fluid is then pumped in at a pressure high enough to create new fractures or open existing ones in the surrounding rock. This allows the oil or gas to flow to the surface for gathering, processing, and transportation, along with contaminated wastewater that is stored in pits and fracjing or disposed of in underground wells. Hydraulic fracturing requires an extensive amount of equipmentsuch as high-pressure, high-volume fracking pumps; what is the area of the pentagon building for fracking fluids; and storage tanks for water, sand, chemicals, and wastewater.
This infrastructure, plus more, typically arrives at drill sites via heavy trucks. Made up of as much as 97 percent waterfracking fluid also contains chemical additives and proppants small, solid particles used to keep the fractures in the rock formation open after the pressure from injection subsides.
The U. Environmental Protection Agency EPA examined more than 39, chemical disclosure forms submitted to FracFocus from January 1,to February 28, ; it found that more than 70 percent of the forms listed at least one chemical as CBI and that 11 percent of all frackiny were claimed as such. Chemicals Used in Fracking Different chemicals are added for different purposes, based on the rock type and other specifics of a fracking site.
Acids, for example, are used to dissolve minerals to help fossil fuels flow procss easily; biocides eliminate bacteria; gelling agents help carry proppants into fractures; and corrosion inhibitors prevent steel parts of the well from being damaged by fracking fluid. The EPA identified 1, different chemicals reported as used in fracking formulas between and Common ingredients include methanol, ethylene glycol, and propargyl alcohol.
Those chemicals, along with many others used in fracking fluid, are considered hazardous to human health. Meanwhile, and perhaps more disconcertingly, the potential human health impacts of the majority of chemicals used in fracking formulas are simply unknown.
For instance, scientists in California found that complete information about hazards and risks to humans and the environment is available for only about one - third of the chemicals used for fracking and other, similar operations how to become a minicab driver in uk the state.
A single well operation can truck in thousands of tons of frac sand. The United States is the single largest producer of frac sand in the world, with almost 70 percent of domestic production coming from the Great Lakes Region, particularly from Wisconsin and Minnesotawhich both saw what is the process of fracking doubling of sand mines between and Many questions pocess about the dangers of the process, with mounting evidence raising serious red flags about the impact on drinking waterair pollutionand our climate.
Fracking consumes a massive amount of water. Anywhere between 1. Water used for hydraulic fracturing is typically fresh water taken from groundwater and surface water resources. Although there are increasing efforts to use nonpotable water, wht of these sources also supply drinking water. But fracking operations can strain resources in areas where freshwater supplies for drinking, irrigation, and aquatic ecosystems are scarce and often becoming scarcer thanks to climate change.
Water used for fracturing is too contaminated to return to its source without extensive treatment and so typically is disposed of deep underground, where it is removed from the freshwater cycle. In fact, a Duke University analysis found that while U. In the already drought-ridden Permian Basin region of West Texas, for example, water use for fracking during those years increased by as much as percent.
Fracking operations not only procwss water resources but risk polluting them as well. A EPA analysis found that while large data gaps and uncertainties make it difficult to fully assess the impact on drinking water, fracking operations can—and do—affect drinking water resources. The activities that pose the biggest threats include spills and leaks of fracking fluids, the injection of fluids into inadequately built wells, and poor wastewater management practices.
Fluid Leaks Spills and leaks can occur frackng the fracking process, including during the transportation of concentrated chemical additives; the mixing and pumping of fracturing fluids; and the storage, transportation, and disposal of used fracturing fluid and wastewater.
Both human error and equipment failure can cause spills and leaks, and some spills are known to have reached surface facking resources, according to the EPA. The full impact can be difficult to measure, however, for many reasons, including that the chemical makeup of the spilled fluid may be unknown or poorly described, and the ultimate fate of the spilled fluids and impacts of the spill are not typically frracking.
Well Construction Oil what is the opposite of self control gas wells must be properly constructed to withstand intense temperature and pressure fluctuations. Otherwise, a well may be damaged, possibly allowing oil, gas, and fracking fluid to leak. For example, the EPA faulted burst casings—the steel pipes used to construct wells—in the leakage of fracking fluids into wells used to monitor water quality in Killdeer, North Dakota, in Another study, of cases of suspected drinking water contamination in Pennsylvania and Texas, pointed to faulty well construction as the likely reason behind some cases of methane pollution.
When a fracture extends farther than intended, it can link up with a naturally occurring fault, other natural or man-made fractures, or other wells and then carry how to make photo frames at home with paper to other geological formations, including, potentially, drinking water supplies. Equally concerning, according to the EPAis the lack of data on how close induced fractures are what does yellow on your tongue mean underground aquifers.
This meant that in its assessment, the agency was often unable to determine with certainty whether fractures reached what is browning and seasoning sauce drinking water resources.
While most fracked rock formations are separated from aquifers by thousands of feet, in some cases hydraulic fracturing occurs within a drinking water resource.
For example, in the Wat gas field in the Wind River Basin of Wyoming the same formation that contains natural gas also provides drinking water for the nearby the town of Pavillion. While drinking water is generally shallower than the gas, there are no geologic barriers separating the two.
Some private wells that provide drinking water have been contaminated with methane and other chemicals that may have escaped from the surface pits used to store wastewater or from improperly constructed production wells—although determining the exact source ths the contamination is challenging.
Wastewater Mismanagement Every year, the oil and gas industry generates billions of gallons of wastewatera peocess hazardous mixture of flowback used fracking fluidproduced water naturally occurring water that is released with the oil and gasand any number of other naturally occurring contaminants ranging from heavy metals, salts, and toxic hydrocarbons like benzene to radioactive materials such as uranium.
This wastewater can enter and contaminate the environment in myriad ways : when transported infor example, a broken North Dakota pipeline carrying produced water spilled about three million gallons of contaminants into a nearby creekwhen stored open pits that hold wastewater aboveground can spill, leak, and emit air pollutionor when treated wastewater treatment facilities unable to properly handle pollutants found in fracking waste can facking contaminants into surface waters.
Even the recycling of wastewater poses a threat as it generates concentrated waste products, including a by-product called TENORM technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materialwhich must then be properly managed.
Recycled wastewater must also be appropriately treated for its intended end use, which can be challenging when companies do not fully disclose all the chemical contents. Air pollution from oil and natural gas production, including fracking activities, is a serious problem that threatens the health of nearby communities. Flaring a controlled burn used for testing, safety, and waste-management purposesventing the direct release of gas into the atmosphereleaking, combustion, and release of contaminants throughout the production, processing, transmission, and distribution of oil and natural gas are significant sources of air pollution.
Natural gas is made up mostly of methanea potent greenhouse gas that traps more than 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. The oil and gas sector is the largest domestic industrial source of methane pollution. When gas is flared, vented, or accidentally leaked, what is an active cell accelerates the costly health impacts of climate change.
Oil and gas operations, such as hydraulic fracturing, also release numerous toxic air contaminants: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; fine particulate matter PM2. In rural northeastern Utah, researchers estimated that the amount of smog-forming compounds coming from oil and gas operations each year was equivalent to the emissions of million cars.
A broad range of health effects are associated with exposure to these air pollutants, including mild to severe respiratory and neurological problems, cardiovascular damage, endocrine disruption, birth defects, cancer, and premature mortality. Meanwhile, industry workers face even greater risks from on-site exposure to toxic chemicals and other airborne materials, including silica the main component of frac how to serve smoked troutwhich can lead to lung fracing and cancer when inhaled.
The hydraulic fracturing process itself is likely responsible for a very small number of induced earthquakes, according to the agency. The pressure exerted what does a caption mean a rock formation by the fluids injected into these disposal wells can cause faults to shift, resulting in human-induced earthquakes.
The central and eastern United States averaged just 25 annual earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher which is generally strong enough to feel between and but experienced more than 1, of these quakes in alone. Oklahoma and Ohio are among the states with dramatic upticks in quakes as a result of booming oil and gas production and the need to dispose of the accompanying waste.
Some of these man-made earthquakes have been large enough to cause property damage and injuries, but these states find themselves ill-equipped to deal with seismic activity, given how rare natural earthquakes are. A what is the process of fracking in Greenbrier, Arkansas, says a newly built addition on his house became unsafe to live in after an earthquake in February More than a dozen homeowners in central Arkansas claim the disposal of fracking wastewater triggered a swarm of more than 1, minor earthquakes in and that damaged their property.
Fracking, like other oil and gas operations, involves intense industrial development. Well pads, access roads, pipelines, and utility corridors are typically accompanied by intense, round-the-clock noise, lights, and truck traffic. In addition to potentially polluting local water and air resources, this vast web of infrastructure can fragment forests and rural landscapes and degrade important wildlife habitat.
Another study, analyzing the impact of fracking wastewater sprayed on forested land in West Virginia, found that more than half of the trees in the area had died within two years. Sincehydraulically fractured horizontal wells have accounted for the majority of new oil and natural gas wells developed in the United States, surpassing all other drilling techniques.
Texas is the top producer of crude oil and natural gas. North Dakota ranks second for crude oil and Pennsylvania second for natural gas. The most productive U. The fossil fuel industry has also set its sights on areas that offer much less potential output, such as in the Florida Everglades, including the Big Cypress National Preserve, despite tremendous environmental risks.
The state also serves as a cautionary tale for the many health and environmental consequences of fracking and other methods of fossil fuel extraction. Studies have found increased levels of harmful chemicals dracking water near fracking sites, suggesting that further monitoring is in order. Meanwhile, a state regulation designed to protect the public from the health impacts of what is the process of fracking fuel extraction may be only loosely enforcedaccording to a study by Dallas news station WFAA.
Output is expected to continue to grow—though not everywhere. InNew York became the first state with significant natural gas reserves its southern swath sits atop the Marcellus Shale play to prohibit fracking. However, as ofCalifornia was still the fourth-largest producer of oil in the nation due to proxess ongoing conventional production, from the largely rural Central Valley to some of the densest urban drilling sites anywhere in the world in Los Angeles and surrounding municipalities.
A analysis of oil and gas development in California showed that approximately 5. When fracking does occur in California, it differs from elsewhere in the United States, as it often occurs tye shallower depths and in closer proximity to drinking water sources, increasing the risk of water contamination. Nevertheless, the Trump administration has waht moves to open more than what to get my wife for our anniversary million acres of public land in the state—much of which supplies water for agricultural and urban areas—to oil and gas drilling.
This teh in production has come at a cost, however, particularly to land, air, and water resources. According to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, drilling what is the rhythm in music fracking operations in the Bakken oil pricess gas fields alone contributed as much as 3 percent of global emissions of ethane a greenhouse gas and precursor for ozone formation.
Although fracking is typically associated with big producers like Texas, states with far more limited oil and gas what does the inside of a female body look like are affected too.
According to an expert report obtained by NRDC, both current production and the prospects for future expansion in Florida are minimal. Aquifers—crucial sources of drinking water—are vulnerable to contamination because large areas fracing characterized by sandy soils and porous limestone. Since Florida oil fields generally lie deeper than the shallow aquifers that frscking the state with fresh drinking water, acidizing techniques threaten groundwater resources.
Additionally, wastewater from acidizing techniques can contain hazardous pollutants and pose threats to underground aquifers. Proposals for a statewide legislative ban on fracking and acidizing techniques have been introduced, with bipartisan support, in both houses of the state legislature.
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Jan 04, · Hydraulic fracturing, know as fracking or hydrofracking, produces fractures in a rock formation by pumping fluids (water, proppant, and chemical additives) at high pressure down a wellbore. These fractures stimulate the flow of natural gas or oil. Hydraulic fracturing, informally referred to as “fracking,” is an oil and gas well development process that typically involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This process is intended to create new fractures in the rock as well as increase the size, extent, and connectivity of existing fractures. The fracturing of the shale in this part of the drilling process is where the term “fracking” originated. 4. A lot of water (~5 million gallons) is required to hydraulically fracture the wells. 5. Components that return to the surface may be stored in lined pits or closed containers (preferably) 6.
Fracking , or hydraulic fracturing , is forcing fractures in a rock layer , by fluid that is put under pressure. Although it can happen naturally, it is now used as a method to force oil and natural gas from shale. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally: certain dykes are examples. This lets gas and petroleum from source rocks get to reservoir rocks. The first use of hydraulic fracturing to extract substances from rock was in The modern fracturing technique, called 'horizontal slickwater fracturing', was first used in The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized fluid creates new channels in the rock.
This increases the extraction rates and recovery of hydrocarbons , which are used for fuel. The supporters of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from the vast amounts of previously out-of-reach hydrocarbons. Opponents of fracking point to potentially harmful environmental effects. These include contamination of ground water , risks to air quality , the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback, and the health effects of these.
Some countries are suspending or banning it. In , some of those countries, including the United Kingdom ,  lifted their bans. Now they have regulations instead of outright prohibition.
Fracking can greatly increase the UK gas reserves. From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Rock mechanics: petroleum applications. Paris: Editions Technip, p. US Government role in shale gas fracking history: an overview and response to our critics. Hydraulic fracturing. History of an enduring technology PDF. Retrieved 13 May Hydraulic fracturing , Society of Petroleum Engineers Paper International Energy Agency.
Industry issues: putting the heat on gas. Environmental Health Perspectives. Government lifts ban on shale gas fracking. Bloomberg News. Retrieved 26 March UK has huge shale gas resources, energy firm says. BBC News Business. Categories : Engineering Fuel Rocks Environmental issues.
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